J-1 students eligible for off-campus employment because of economic circumstances are:

  • In good academic standing
  • In good legal status
  • Taking a full course of study and demonstrating that acceptance of employment will not interfere with their full course of study
  • Able to demonstrate that employment is necessary because of documented serious, urgent and unforeseen economic circumstances that arose after obtaining J-1 status

If authorized by USCIS, employment is limited to no more than 20 hours per week when school is in session and can be unlimited during vacation periods.  For J-1 students, the limit of no more than 20 hours per week is cumulative of all types of J-1 student employment (on and off campus). Employment may be authorized in periods of up to 12 months at a time.

See below for application instructions and documentation requirements.

Instructions and Requirements

How to Apply +

Review this website for eligibility information and make an appointment to discuss your situation with an international student adviser

  • Be prepared to share documentation regarding your situation, such as a letter explaining the circumstance of the economic hardship and supporting materials documenting the unforeseen nature of the economic hardship. 
  • If appropriate, the adviser will share information regarding necessary application materials and the next steps in the application process.
  • J-1 students may be authorized for off-campus employment directly by a Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services adviser.

Proof of Employment Authorization +

When approved for off-campus employment because of economic circumstances, a J-1 student receives a written letter documenting the specific employment and validity period. Employment is authorized only after you receive your employment authorization letter and you can start work on the date listed in your letter.

Authorization for economic hardship employment is automatically cancelled if you transfer from one school to another or fail to maintain status.